Topeka Capital-Journal, The,  Jul 31, 2005  by Joey Berlin Capital-Journal

Adonis Jordan

Tornado's Jordan piecing new AAPBL team together

Adonis Jordan knows the All American Professional Basketball League's summer league wasn't about winning and losing, but the Topeka Tornado coach is blunt about what he had to work with in Billings, Mont.

"I had the weakest team in the (league) by far," Jordan said from his home in Las Vegas.

The Tornado finished a league-worst 1-10. Still, Jordan, a point guard on Kansas Final Four teams in 1991 and 1993, held on to the best performers from the Tornado's summer roster in the league's protection draft. He protected five players and added one player from another team's summer roster.

"I felt very fortunate to get six quality players out of the draft," Jordan said.

Whatever becomes of the AAPBL and the latest attempt to make pro basketball fly in Topeka, Michael Dyson, Majestic Mapp, Travis Canby, Marvin Johnson, Reggie Warren and Adrick Hills will always be the first six Tornado invited to the team's training camp in October.

Protecting Dyson was a no-brainer, as it would've been hard for Jordan to explain how he declined to invite the summer league's third-leading scorer to camp. A 6-foot-4-inch guard, Dyson averaged 22.8 points in 11 games.

Jordan said he didn't know much about Dyson, a graduate of Olivet College in Michigan, before camp started. He found out Dyson plays bigger than his size.

"He played a lot inside for us," said Jordan, who said he'll look at Dyson in training camp at both the small forward and power forward positions. "He isn't that big, but I can see he has a good outside shot."

Mapp was probably the most recognizable player at the summer league, thanks to his unusual name and his pedigree as a former McDonald's All-American. The former University of Virginia guard is described by Jordan as a "tweener," a player who fits in the mold of neither a point guard nor a shooting guard.

But he can play both positions, and versatility is a high priority on Jordan's list as he puts his roster together. Mapp averaged 15.3 points in Billings.

"Majestic Mapp, I guess, out of all these guys, he's the one with the highest basketball IQ," Jordan said.

Jordan describes Canby, a 6-10 forward/center who finished his college career as a role player at Kansas State this year, as a project. Canby averaged 8.5 points and 5.9 rebounds during summer play.

Johnson, a 6-6 forward, led the Tornado in rebounding with 7.9 per game. Warren joined the summer league late, playing in only two games, but showed a talent for grabbing boards, averaging 10.5 in those two games to go along with 11.5 points.

The Tornado obtained Hills in the draft after he played for the Lincoln Generals in the summer league. He averaged 14.9 points and three assists. Jordan said Hills is an athletic, powerful point guard.

"He led the (league) in dunks from the point guard position at 5- 10," Jordan said.

Jordan, who is also the Tornado's vice president, now has nine other roster spots to fill before training camp begins. Like many minor league basketball executives, he wants his roster to include players of local interest.

As such, he's already in contact with the agents for Aaron Miles and Keith Langford, two guards who finished four-year careers at Kansas this year and are trying to catch on with NBA teams.

Jordan said he's "looking for a player like myself" and said Miles is "a point guard that I would definitely have running the show, if he's available to play."